In today’s economy, nothing can be a guaranteed or sure thing, especially when it comes to the modern job market in Metro Detroit. But that doesn’t mean that some bets can’t be safer than others.

One of the questions that is perpetually on the minds of college students everywhere is “What is the best course of study for me?” Additionally, “What degree can help me get the best career after college?” Just a simple online job search can demonstrate the wide variety of possibilities for what is becoming available. These days, a degree in criminal justice can prove to be quite versatile when compared to the other numerous options; even more so in southeast Michigan.

Whether it’s a career in the expansive field of law enforcement or something more along the lines of security management that you are looking for, a degree in criminal justice can help to steer you in the right direction. Right now in Metro Detroit, the need for individuals willing to fill these roles has opened the door to a number of opportunities for recent graduates and long-time job seekers alike.

Many companies and corporations fish out those individuals with criminal justice degrees to help occupy various positions within their infrastructure. Such areas can range from building security and staff safety to human resource investigators. For those who aspire to seek higher-level management positions in the criminal justice field, a master’s degree can help to set them apart for openings such as these. With advanced training under their belts, such as in business administration and executive management, those looking to climb the professional ladder to a top-tier career in the criminal justice field might best be suited to weighing the cost and benefits of attaining a graduate degree from a reputable university.

In fact, some individuals are turning to courses and programs offered online from a number of nationwide universities — many of those, while otherwise working full time — all in an effort to become the most attractive option for today’s top recruiters.

The United States Department of Labor has released a bevy of statistics that support these conclusions. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, between 2010 and 2020, the criminal justice field and its related occupations will see an 11 percent increase as well as a rise in salary and additional compensation consummate with experience.

In addition, a number of universities and hospitals also employ criminal justice graduates in an effort to boost their program’s security. From patrol officers to managers and administrators, the need is constant within the Motor City region for these constantly developing fields. And when it comes to training, each of these programs–from the healthcare industry to educational institutions–offer some type of program or series of courses to assist new hires in best understanding their field’s required safety guidelines.

Government data indicates that law enforcement positions between 2010 and 2020 will see an increase of about seven percent, with the majority of those new positions being created on a local level as opposed to a state or federal level. The median salary for an officer or detective in 2010 was $55,010 per year with numbers expected to rise. A bachelor’s degree is not required, but a high school diploma or equivalent is necessary to gain entrance into your local police academy.

According to a recently released report published by the Detroit Free Press, the Michigan State House of Representatives has begun the new year with the development of four new committees aimed at adding jobs and eliminating wasteful debt. Among the new committees are Financial Liability Reform, Tourism, Michigan Competitiveness and Criminal Justice.

Though committee assignments have yet to be made, the formation of these groups demonstrates the state’s commitment to improving the Detroit job market and emphasizes the importance of getting southeast Michigan back to work after some of the longest and hardest years in the state’s history.

Michael Ferro is freelance writer and a graduate of Michigan State University where he majored in Creative Writing and received the Jim Cash Creative Writing Award. Born and bred in Detroit, he currently resides in Ypsilanti Township. Additional writing can be found at


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